Nearly all travelers to Vegas have a trip to the Grand Canyon on the agenda and we were no different both times. We had decided on the West Rim so we could visit the Skywalk. The first time we booked a bus tour and the best time we booked a hummer. Remember this is at least a two/three hour drive from the heart of Vegas.
Our hummer arrived at our hotel, the Excalibur, at 6.00am. We couldn’t have asked for a better morning. The sun was shinning and the air was crisp. Heading out of Vegas the first stop was at the famous Las Vegas sign. It was pretty cool being the only people at the sign and we had time to fool around taking photos. You see once 8.00am arrives the crowds arrive and the line up for a photo can take some time and you only get a few minutes for a photo. If you are going to visit the sign during the busy hours you will usually find someone there organizing people and available to take photos for you (don’t forget to tip before they take the photos and you will find you will be given a little more time).
It was back in the hummer and heading out of town past Lake Mead and a stop at the Hoover Dam on the border of Nevada and Arizona. Brett our tour guide phoned Rosie’s Den Cafe to place our breakfast order ahead so it was ready for pick up on arrival.
Our next stop was at the Joshua Tree Forest. These unusual looking trees only grow in the Mojave Desert, taking about 50 to 60 years to mature. It is said they were given the name “Joshua” by the Mormon pioneers as the trees in the distance looked like the prophet Joshua waving them further on to the promised land. My fascination with these trees started when I watched the 1993 movie “Joshua Tree” with Dolph Lundgren and Kristian Alfonso. It was then I decided that one day I would see these trees. They were certainly no disappointment. We were told to keep an eye out for Rattlers too however we weren’t lucky enough to see one.
Leaving the magnificent landscape of the trees it was onward to the Grand Canyon. Ok, so I guess you know that the first movie that is going to come to mind is of course the famous “Thelma and Louise”.
The good thing about being with an experienced Tour Guide is that we were able to avoid the crowds and have inside info on how to get the best photo opportunities, all that kind of important stuff. Once at on the Hualapai Reservation it is out of the hummer and we are shuttled around to each place.
The Skywalk at Eagle Point is a platform made of glass extending out around 70 feet off the edge of the canyon. Looking down through the glass it is about 2000ft to the bottom of the canyon and looking across to the other side it’s about 3 miles. Before entering the glass walk all personal belongings are stored in a locker, this includes cameras and iphones etc. A photographer will be out on the Skywalk to take photos for you to purchase later. Our Tour Guide, Brett, took our cameras for us and waited patiently on the edge of the canyon until we came out on the Skywalk and took photos for us. They are some of my favorite holiday photos.
The morning went rather quick and before we knew it lunchtime had rolled around so it was off to Guano Point for a BBQ lunch. I would have to say Guano Point would have some of the most majestic views of the Grand Canyon. Remnants of the old mine are still on site and its an interesting walk up the pyramid shaped rocks.
It soon became time to take the long drive back to Vegas. A big thanks to Brett at Big Horn Tours.